The marriage wasn't bad. But when the MC suggested the famous line, " A are symptoms ..." My WH grabbed onto that as his new mantra.
It really stinks because I think my WH needed to see his real reasons so he could fix himself instead of blaming me.
I agree that a M is 50/50, but responsibility for specific M problems can be 90/10.
My grandpa, who I respected more than anyone, gave this advice in his speech at my wedding: "you will hear people tell you that marriage is a 50/50 proposition. This is wrong. Both partners must give 100% for a marriage to work."
Of course, no one can give 100% all the time, but if each party only aims for 50%, then what happens when they fail, which inevitably happens since we are all imperfect. There have been times in my pre-A M when I underperformed, and FWH had to pick up the slack. And times when he underperformed and it was up to me to make up the difference. Our M worked pretty well as long as we both had that mindset. It compensated for a lot of FOO issues, but I think we could have dealt with those if FWH had wanted to.
Not to pick on your words, 20wrongs, but I love my grandpa's attitude toward M and what he said means so much more to me than it used to.
The MC said that I would've cheated too but the opportunity presented itself to my dh first.
This might fly if all affairs were opportunistic, but so many start with people trolling for attention: Craigslist, AFF, AM. Even FWH, who I think didn't go looking to cheat, had to be open to receiving external validation. I wasn't. Check that. I was desperate to feel loved, but I was not willing to compromise my values to get that.
I think some MCs are idiots.
It could even be that the BS was 95% responsible for the M problems. But that only justifies D, not an A.
I wish he would have D me instead of dragging me through hell...Now he wants me back, begs for me. Get that! Great.
If you read my profile, you could clearly see how "I" should have been the one to cheat!!! But, I didn't. I "fixed" myself when we got married with IC. I repeatedly asked him to go for 6 years, now he tells our MC he should've gone back then.
[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:28 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]
I do know that we created space between us. That space made it far easier for someone else to squeeze in.
We are now 100% committed to making this work. No space.
Your Grandpa was right cdmommy.
[This message edited by LA44 at 7:20 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]
And furthermore, it may be that one partner is responsible for all, none, or some of the marital problems. So no, you don't have to shoulder 50 percent of the responsibility for the marriage. You're responsible for your contributions only.
As for the affair, that's 100 percent on the cheater.
Affairs are a symptom. They're a symptom of an INDIVIDUAL'S emptiness, unhappiness, whatever.
There are a thousand---a million!---alternatives to infidelity.
Every. Single. Wayward. has the ability to make a better choice.
Every.Single.Wayward has the ability to effect positive changes in his/her life and marriage. Choosing perhaps the single most traumatic behavior is not a "symptom" of anything other than self- and generally-destructive failure of impulse control.
Affairs are a symptom of a failing human being. Unfortunately, the personal failure has far-reaching implications, affecting not just the individual but the partner, children, family, social network, everything.
So no, I don't believe an affair is a symptom of a failing marriage.
It think it's a ticket on a fast train to killing a marriage, though. Because that's always the outcome. Always. Fortunately, couple may reconcile--and a new marriage can be built in its place.
Why should anyone shoulder ANY responsibility for a partner that both breaks an agreement and expects you not to? IMO, *this* is the most important question that a BS needs to demand their WS answer.
I don't assign any blame for my choice to anyone but myself. It's entitely my shit to own
[This message edited by Clarrissa at 7:55 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
My point is that whatever caused them to cheat (within themselves) - whether that was selfishness or resentment or whatever - they were already bringing that crap into the marriage beforehand.
I dunno, that's my theory, or at least it is true in my case. So I really bristle at "pre-A problems are 50/50."
It pisses me off too that my H's coworkers and society in general assume I wasn't meeting his needs. Well he was always putting less into the M than I was, yet I never considered cheating. I had a big barrier up around me with other men, he had a "well, if you ask nice and don't expect anything in return what the fuck sign" on him.
I take no responsibility for the A or the "problems" of which I was unaware. But I am willing to give it my all in R as long as my fWH is 100% committed.
In my situation my WS is a PA that refused to communicate. IC helped him see his destructive behavior. He has self esteem and major FOO issues. He flees from difficult situations and tries to replace people. He has unreasonable expectations and holds on to disappointments without communicating them. This was a recipe for disaster.
I also do not think I am perfect and I had my own issues that needed worked on but they are minimal in comparison. This really doesn't make me a better person but I pretty much had a great childhood and was able to see healthy relationships and interactions during my whole life. IC made me be more empathetic to my WS. It didn't excuse his behavior but I better understand where he was coming from.
We are a work in progress but I consider us in a successful R. I honestly believe that my WS would have acted this way eventually with anybody he married. No one would have been good enough.
So bottom line is I do not shoulder any of the responsibility for my WS's EA.
Does the cheater have a point when they say that I had no choice but to have an affair?
Regarding bad marriages; Affairs are not symptoms, affairs are causes (one of many). Its not semantics its mindset. Anyone on opposite sides of that fence are of differing moral compass and would likely struggle with R.
I'd find a different MC because statements like that are a symptom of a failing MC credential system.
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”
it pissed me off because it was dogmatic about claiming that every affair was about this or that unmet need
In a sense this could be at least somewhat true - the WS has some (perceived?) 'need' that they don't know how to fulfill. Where this argument goes bad is the implicit (and sometimes explicit) assumption that it is the (faithful) spouse that is supposed to satisfy this need.
These needs might be just due to a basic incompatibility, but often seem to be holes in the WS that they don't know how to fill (at least not in any healthy way), aspects of their brokenness that they don't know how to fix. It is not the duty of the marriage partner to fill up the holes, it is the duty of the individual to become healthy, to learn the skills and acquire the tools that they lack, to confront their issues, their baggage, and (learn to) deal with it in a healthy way.
So yes, I do think there are needs (or 'needs') that are unmet in many, perhaps most, WS. But the spouse not satisfying them is NOT the cause of the A, is NOT the reason for the A, it's an EXCUSE for the A. The CAUSE of the A is that the WS has not dealt with their own issues, and chooses instead to act out in a decidedly hurtful and unhealthy way.
Laying these 'unmeet needs' at the feet of the faithful partner is BLAMING THE VICTIM. It is in NO WAY the fault of the BS, neither the brokenness of the WS nor their choice to cheat, to betray in an attempt to fill whatever unmet needs or wants they feel that they have.
I'm lucky in the sense that my WH has never once said this was my fault and has never once implied that I was anything other than a loving, in fact ADORING, wife to him. (If anything, too much so.)
And, regarding that idiotic comment re opportunity... Early in our marriage, I worked daily and closely with someone to whom I was really, really physically attracted to. I mean, really. And he was attracted to me, too. You can tell these things. I developed techniques for dealing with this. It was not easy. But I knew that I could not live with myself if I had done anything about it. I set boundaries. Worked with this guy for 3 years, and had continued contact with him through our extended social network for years after. Luckily this was in the UK before we moved back to the States, otherwise he would have been a prime contender for an RA... I digress.
I think the prevalence of the "it's the marriage" in our culture is due to a lot of things. We like to think that Love Conquers All, so that love can heal another's demons. I find Coldplay's Fix You song creepy for this very reason. People have wildly unrealistic ideas of marriage, and too much burden is placed on marriages, IMO because the larger social fabric is so weak.
That's my pontificating for the day...
SI Rule Number 1:
It is NEVER the BS's fault. never ever.
why are the websites for counselling and lawyers full of statements about affairs being a symptom of a failing marriage? Why isn't our belief the most commonly held view out there in the real world?
Because marriage counselors and lawyers are a business first. Offering broken and dysfunctional people easy excuses for money can be very, very lucrative.